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What Is Purple Shampoo Used For?

5 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

What does blue or purple shampoo do? What are the effects of purple shampoo on red hair, and what on blonde hair? Find out the answers & more!

If you’re not in the know of this funky colored product, check out this breakdown to better understand what purple shampoo does for your hair, and why you may or may not need to incorporate it into your hair washing routine.    

What is Purple Shampoo?

This vibrant colored shampoo may look intimidating, but the bright color is very necessary. Purple shampoo is designed for those who have naturally blonde, color-treated blonde, or silver hair. If you think about color theory, opposite colors on the color wheel go together. Blonde hair tends to turn orange during the bleaching process, so purple is used to neutralize the brassy tones and be more of an appealing, cool-toned blonde color. Though any hair color can use it for a purple tint, purple shampoo is very beneficial for those who have blonde hair or color-treated hair which features a lighter tone. The shampoo contains a highly pigmented purple hue, much like a hair dye. And to answer the obvious question, it is indeed purple and may stain your surfaces if not used carefully. 

Why Purple Shampoo?

So why would it be that purple is the color necessary to cancel out the brassiness in naturally and color-treated blonde hair? Simply stated, purple is the opposite color of yellow on the color wheel, meaning the purple dye will help cancel out the yellow hues. Especially if you’ve previously dyed your hair, it can be difficult getting the exact color you desire. That’s why purple shampoo is great to get the hair color you’re aiming for! Washing, natural elements, hair care products, and more can change the tone of your hair, which is why it is vital to utilize purple shampoo in your hair care routine to manage your hair color. 

How To Use Purple Shampoo?

Your normal shampooing routine should remain the same, swapping in a purple shampoo for color-treated hair. You should only use purple shampoo about once or twice a week if you’re new to it. Washing your hair too often with a purple shampoo can run the risk of having it turn a light purplish hue, so stick to 1-2 times a week. Your blonde or silver will shine!

You can even mix it with your shampoo or conditioner to lighten up the pigmentation. The color saturation will be dependent on the brand, some are more pigmented than others which can increase the blue or purple tone in your hair. Trial and error will determine the frequency of use for your locks! Try keeping a log of your hair tone by taking regular photos, so you can see how your hair color fades as time goes on. 

More Colored Shampoos 

So, what happens if you do not fall into the category of blonde or silver-colored hair? Does it mean that a purple shampoo will do nothing for you? Unless you have blonde or light-colored highlights, the answer is no, it will not do much good for you. That doesn’t mean this is the end all be all!  

For brunettes who are natural or color-treated, there is also an equivalent for you. The same goes for our redheaded friends--there is a specific colored shampoo that will revitalize your tone in the same fashion as purple does for blondes and silvers!

  • Blue Shampoo: The same purple concept applies to brunettes in the form of a blue shampoo.  This highly pigmented formula is specially intended for color-treated lightened brown hair which neutralizes the brassy tones that occur when lightened hair oxidizes.  Not to say that it won’t benefit natural brunettes as well, as your hair will likely pick up pigment from just being out in the sun.  This blue/violet tone takes out the orange/brass tones that tend to show up on brown hair.  
  • Red Shampoo: It’s fairly easy to guess what hair color a red shampoo will benefit the most from its use. The name gives it away--it’s all for the redheads out there! But, this isn’t intended for natural redheads alone, all color-treated reds from cherry to burgundy and everything in between will find benefits with red shampoo. Any hairstylist will attest that red is the most challenging color to maintain for the sheer fact that red hair color fades faster than any other hue (as evidenced by red-stained bathtubs,) making a red shampoo crucial in reviving color.  

For color-treated red hair, greater precautions are needed to best preserve your color. After dying, ensure that hair is not washed for at least 24 hours to let the color set in.  When shampooing with red shampoo, try a cold water wash to ensure the color does not fade while the hair follicles are opened. 

Additional Treatments for Color Maintenance

If you want to make your color last between salon visits, try different treatments for color maintenance. While shampooing with or without a colored shampoo, a daily conditioner is a must-have to maintain optimal hair health. Shampooing strips the hair of much-needed moisture, and color-treated hair suffers even more from the dying process, damaging and stripping the hair of natural nutrients and moisture. Here are some various treatments to boost your hair health:

  • Daily Conditioner - A standard conditioner will fare well if you don’t have other alternatives.  If you can, use one specifically intended for color-treated tresses or one that is tinted in the same hue that you require, such as purple, blue, or red.  This step is critical for all hair types, colors, etc as it plays a vital role in protecting the strands but correcting any damage you may have. WOW’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut Oil Conditioner combo is perfect for giving your treated hair the moisture and nourishment it needs. 
  • Hair Masks - Preserve and enhance the color that you likely spent a pretty penny on with a nourishing hair mask!  What is a hair mask?  It is essentially a highly concentrated conditioning treatment that includes powerful hydrating properties. Try one specifically formulated for those with color-treated hair, like WOW Skin Science Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Mask for Color Treated Hair. It uses ultra-nourishing argan oil with other natural active ingredients to salvage and protect your hair. Most hair types can use hair masks once a week. If you happen to suffer from severely damaged locks, incorporating a mask more often can help bring it back to life sooner.    
  • Hair Oils - It provides nourishment to promote shiny, soft locks, and healthy growth.  Dying your hair can disrupt the natural environment it used to. Keep your hair dandruff free, irritation-free, hydrated, and breathable with the help of great hair oil. WOW’s Onion Black Seed Hair Oil can help with just this, bringing silkiness and shine with sweet hydration. 

Ingredients to Look For

When you are shopping for the perfect color-correcting shampoo, keep in mind which ingredients have the potential to cause harm or elicit an allergic reaction, especially for sensitive skin. There are many options on the market, with some bad products hidden within store shelves today. 

Sulfates are a controversial ingredient that’s often used in hair care products as a lathering and cleansing agent. The issue with these chemical compounds is exactly that; they are chemicals that dismantle the natural balance of oils on your scalp. While it may give you the squeaky clean feeling you desire, many natural ingredients can offer the same effect with the possibility of causing reactions to your skin. Sulfates often strip too much of the naturally produced oils your scalp needs to maintain a healthy balance.  

Parabens are another chemical ingredient to be aware of when purchasing hair care products, specifically shampoos, and conditioners. It is a manufactured preservative intended to deter the growth of bacteria. They have been known to also mimic the body’s naturally producing hormones and can be absorbed into the skin fairly easily. While there is yet to be long term researched results available as to its harm on humans, your best bet is to avoid parabens if possible. Fortunately, numerous brands on the market offer sulfate and paraben-free beauty products, such as WOW Skin Science!


The mystery surrounding the need for color correcting shampoo like purple shampoo is revealed!  If you are still skeptical of its effectiveness, try incorporating it into your routine for just a few weeks, making sure to take photos so you can compare the difference during your hair journey.  Many swear by using them and love how it saves you trips to the salon for touch-ups, saving you money and time. Even for naturally blonde or silver locks, the vibrancy a purple shampoo can provide will convince you that it was well worth the investment!  


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